New Japan Pro Wrestling star Hiromu Takahashi was about as hot as a wrestler could get last summer when, after winning Best of the Super Juniors and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, he was taken out of action with a serious neck injury. Though rumors and reports around of a possible future comeback for the Ticking Time Bomb have been circulating for some time, fans can still only speculate about when he will return to the ring. In the meantime, he wants us to know he has a movie blog now.
While he’s kept things cryptic, Takahashi himself has continued to engage with fans through his online diary and creative projects he shares on social media. The latest of these projects is an account on Filmarks (basically Japanese Letterboxd) in which Daryl’s dad reveals his views on cinema. While Google Translate almost definitely does not replicate the true experience of reading Hiromu Takahashi’s reviews, I’d say it’s still worth checking out.
Takahashi, who says he’s a lifelong fan of horror movies, has given his most negative review so far to Eli Roth’s 2005 film Hostel, which he gives only three out of five stars and repeatedly says he does not recommend. He has given five movies a perfect five-out-of-five star rating: The Truman Show, Freddy vs. Jason (“If you are a horror movie fan, it will be irresistible!”), the 1986 coming-of-age movie Stand By Me, the 1990 TV movie version of It (“this movie is a Stand By Me horror version” and “since I met this movie, I have some clown phobia!”), and the 1997 miniseries version of The Shining. He also gives My Dad is a Heel Wrestler!, the 2018 kids’ movie starring Hiroshi Tanahashi, a positive review and reveals he cried when he went to see it with Tetsuya Naito.
Since he’s been injured, Takahashi’s other creative pursuits have included a day calendar of his artwork, a social media alter ego named Cogito who has their own NJPW merch in collaboration with Sanrio, preview books for this year’s BOSJ like those he created the last two times he wrestled in the tournament, and “Hiromu Radio,” a series of English-language videos on Instagram in which he has shared his favorite flowers, fruits, and shows on Netflix. NJPW has also released Hiromu-related merch during this time in the form of stickers and another plush cat relative for the legendary Daryl.
While we still don’t know when we’ll see Hiromu Takahashi wrestle again (It seemed like this weekend’s Super J-Cup would be a great time, but maybe this fall’s Super Junior Tag League? Maybe Wrestle Kingdom 14???), he continues to be a presence on the internet and in the world of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Hopefully, we’ll see that sick John Woo kick again soon, but for now, we have his take on the CGI in The Lion King and what The Hangover made him think about bachelor parties.